As with the majority of health services, accessing routine eye testing during the COVID-19 lockdown proved impossible. Since then, opticians throughout the country have been putting new protocols into action so that you can receive quality eye care and source the correct prescription glasses.
Whatever your age, good eyesight is vital when using the road. Drivers and motorcyclists must be able to read a vehicle registration plate from a distance of 20 metres (or 20.5 metres if the vehicle was registered before September 2001) wearing glasses or contact lenses if required.
If you are finding it difficult to read road signs, particularly those with text, it could indicate that your eyesight has deteriorated and you may require corrective lenses. If you are finding it harder to see clearly in the dark, this may also mean you need to wear glasses or contact lenses.
Although eyesight often deteriorates as we get older, eye conditions can develop at any age. Glaucoma and cataracts are well-known but other age-related diseases, if left untreated, can also affect your ability to use the road safely.
Teresa Ciano, Chair of Road Safety Wales, said, “We would recommend having an eye test every two years whether you already have corrective eyewear or not, or more often if your optician suggests it. This can not only help to make sure you meet the minimum eyesight standards for driving or riding, but may also identify some other health conditions that you may not yet be aware of, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
“Please be aware that if you drive or ride with eyesight below the minimum legal standard you are increasing the risk of a collision, a fine, penalty points and potential prosecution depending on the severity of any incident that may occur.”
“Wales By Bike will be supporting National Eye Health Week through its website and social media channels, giving reminders of the importance of regular eye tests and common conditions that could compromise the safety of all road users.”
For further information on driving and eyesight rules click here.